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RIO DE JANEIRO, June 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Sao Paolo’s metro risks remaining paralyzed on June 12, when FIFA World Cup tournament opens with its first match at the Arena Corinthians Stadium. The statement to this effect was made by the organizers of the strike that had started in the Brazilian city four days ago by metro workers.
After the trade union’s meeting, they decided to continue the strike that has resulted in traffic jams and transport collapse for the city of 12 million.
Alex Fernandez, the union’s general secretary, said that if no agreement on pay rise is reached, the metro on Thursday will not run neither to the Arena Corinthians Stadium nor anywhere else. Metro workers are demanding a pay rise of 12.2%, while they initially asked for a 35% increase. The metro company has agreed only to a rise of 8.7%.
The court in Sao Paolo ruled that the metro workers’ strike is illegal and demanded for at least 70% of trains to keep running. Meanwhile, over the last days only half of the city’s 65 metro stations were operating, and trains ran at extended intervals. The workers’ resolve was not hindered by the court-ordered fee of $222,000 per each day of strike.
Sao Paolo’s metro is used by about 4.5 million people every day. The organizers of FIFA World Cup planned for the metro to be the major means of transportation in the days of football matches.
According to the national Agencia Brasil, the heads of 12 countries have already confirmed they would attend the World Cup, along with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.